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GW indictment debate halted

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaHearing of prosecution’s request to amend indictments drawn against several officials accused by Global Witness of alleged economic sabotage has been suspended until the Criminal Court “C” determines defense counsels’ “motion to strike”.


Arguments were due to be heard Thursday, 16 February after former House Speaker Alex Tyler’s counsel filed resistance against prosecutors’ request to amend the indictments, citing rights to separate trial.

But counsels for one of the indictees, Grand Cape Mount County SenatorCllr. H. Varney G. Sherman had also filed a motion before the court tostrike prosecution’s motion on grounds that it was “patently
defective”.

As such, assigned Judge YamieQuiquiGbeisay said Thursday that themotion to amend could not be held on Thursday as scheduled “due to thefilling of the motion to strike the motion to amend”.

“While these motions may be necessary to determine incidental issues,this Court advises both parties to be time conscious so as not to give the impression that the parties are not interested in the determination of this matter on its merits”, Judge Gbeisay told counsels Thursday.

In 2016, Global Witness accused several Liberian officials and aNigerian national Christopher Onanuga of allegedly committing economicsabotage on grounds of soliciting and receiving bribes in the tune of
US$950,000 from a U.K. – based company Sable Mining to declare theWologisi Mountain a non-bidding concession in favor of the allegedbribe giver.

Some of the indictees include Ernest C.B. Jones; former Lands andMines Minister Dr. Eugene Shannon; Willie Belleh; former Minister ofState for Economic and Legal Affairs Morris Saytumah; Sable Mining’s Andrew Groves and Klaus Piprek.

Judge Gbeisay said prosecutors filed their motion to amend on 8February, but record before the court did not show when theprosecution served counsels for defendant Sherman. The court has however scheduled the hearing of the defense’s motion tostrike for Friday, 17 February at 9am.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing By Othello B. Garblah

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